Arkansas Crime

Hunter Drexler
Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

A judge has postponed the trial of a teenager charged in the shooting deaths of an Arkansas couple so prosecutors can ask the FBI to help access an iPod and iPhone to search for evidence.

The trial of 18-year-old Hunter Drexler for his role in the killing of Robert and Patricia Cogdell was moved from next week to June 27. Drexler is charged with capital murder.

Deputy Prosecutor Hugh Finkelstein said Tuesday that the Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and Conway Police would reach out to the FBI to ask for help.

Hot Spring County prosecutors are relying on forensic technology and art to solve a case that's gone cold for nearly a quarter-century.

The Malvern Daily Record reports that in 1991, skeletal remains of an unidentified black man were found near Interstate 30 in Malvern. An autopsy found no signs of gunshots, stab wounds or blunt trauma, but couldn't determine the cause of death.

Jack Gillean
Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

The state Supreme Court has accepted the surrendered law license of the former chief of staff for the University of Central Arkansas who was convicted on burglary charges for helping a student steal tests.

Justices on Thursday granted Jack Gillean's motion to give up his license in lieu of probable disbarment proceedings. Gillean asked to surrender his license last month because he was convicted of a felony.

William Asa Hutchinson III
Washington County Sheriff's Office

The son of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has pleaded not guilty to a drunken driving charge.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that 40-year-old William Asa Hutchinson III of Rogers pleaded not guilty Monday in Fayetteville District Court. He also faces charges of careless driving and refusing to submit to a chemical test.

State Police say the governor's son was arrested Jan. 24 on Interstate 49 in Fayetteville by a trooper who responded to a single-vehicle crash and found the younger Hutchinson uninjured in the vehicle.

The next court hearing for a Searcy man accused of killing his 2-year-old son in 2014 has been delayed after his defense attorney requested a psychiatric evaluation of his client.

The Daily Citizen reports that Jeffery Clifton's next pretrial hearing had been scheduled for Monday, but all court appearances and motion requests have been put on hold due to defense attorney Ronald L. Davis' request.

Prosecutor Becky McCoy says it could be months before Clifton's next court appearance.

Hilda Daves
Clark Co. Sheriff's Office

An Arkansas grandmother has been arrested on preliminary charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and battery for the death of her 5-year-old granddaughter and injury to another grandchild.

Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson said in a statement that deputies and Arkansas State Police arrested the 49-year-old Amity woman Tuesday.

Watson says deputies received a 911 call on Jan. 17 saying the woman's two grandchildren had possibly been poisoned and one was being taken to a hospital.

Objecting to the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that lower-court judges can require that defendants pay their bail only in cash, the high court's chief justice cited a musician seldom thought of as a legal scholar: Johnny Cash.

Interim Chief Justice Howard Brill on Thursday cited Cash's song "Starkville City Jail" in a dissent. He said it was wrong for the majority to deny a Benton County man's objection to a $300,000 cash-only bail set in an assault and battery case.

Arron Lewis
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A man convicted of capital murder and kidnapping in the death of a central Arkansas real estate agent has filed notice that he plans to appeal.

Arron Lewis was found guilty and sentenced to life without parole in the slaying of Beverly Carter after a four-day jury trial in January.

Prosecutors said Lewis targeted Carter in a failed ransom plot, taking her from a fake home showing. When police began looking for her and Lewis found out Carter had financial problems, prosecutors say Lewis smothered Carter with duct tape and buried her in a shallow grave.

Defense attorneys for an Arkansas teen charged in the shooting death of the couple who raised him as their grandson say they plan to ask for the case to be moved to juvenile court.

During a pre-trial hearing for now 15-year-old Justin Staton in Faulkner County Circuit Court, his attorneys said depending on several discovery requests, they plan to file the motion to move Staton to juvenile court. Prosecutors charged Staton as an adult with capital murder in the shooting deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell last July.

An Arkansas man convicted of rape and attempted murder has been sentenced to life in prison plus 60 years after asking jurors to give him the maximum sentence.

Larry Lavelle Jones was accused of raping and trying to kill a 66-year-old woman in the parking lot of the Hot Springs Mall in 2014. The 37-year-old from Malvern apologized to the victim during court proceedings Tuesday and told jurors to "go ahead with whatever the maximum is."

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